Astros exercise option on Mills deal

The Houston Astros have exercised the 2012 option on the contract of manager Brad Mills and added a club option for 2013.

The Astros went 76-86 in Mills’ first year as manager, including a terrible 17-34 start, but Houston went 59-52 after June 1 with a lineup that routinely included four rookies – and without Roy Oswalt (Phillies) or Lance Berkman (Yankees), who left in trades.

General manager Ed Wade said Friday that Mills has every quality needed to be a successful manager.

Mills says he’s excited about his young team, including third baseman Chris Johnson, catcher Jason Castro, left fielder Carlos Lee and right fielder Hunter Pence.